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Clegg & Cable share a pint a week after Oakeshott poll

Nick Clegg shared a drink today with Business secretary Vince Cable, a week after an internal party poll was leaked to the Guardian, suggesting the Liberal Democrat leader would lose his seat in 2015.

Lord Oakeshott, who has now resigned from the Liberal Democrats, privately commissioned surveys in several constituencies that showed a collapse in support for the party since 2010.

Both visited a local pub today, to highlight new government legislation to help pub landlords tackle unfair treatment from pub companies.

Nick Clegg and Vince Cable enjoy a pint together to promote new legislation for publicans. Credit: ITV News

Asked if the pub meeting was a show of Liberal Democrat unity within the party, Clegg said:

"No, Vince and I have worked together for years as party colleagues, as old friends and will continue to do so.

"We have had a really difficult time of it but we are determined to work together to learn any lessons. I think the team is very united."

More: Clegg insists Cable 'was not aware' of Oakeshott poll

Ashdown warns Lib Dems 'stop it now' after plot

Former Lib Dem leader Lord Ashdown warned the party to "stop it now" after a "plot of deep malice" to remove Nick Clegg was revealed.

Lord Ashdown told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, "Anything you do now which is not getting out on the street, campaigning in the context of the next General Election ... is distraction and a dangerous distraction."

Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown on The Andrew Marr Show.
Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown on The Andrew Marr Show. Credit: BBC/The Andrew Marr Show

He said the Lib Dems have to "get out and start campaigning for the next election" following disappointing results at the local and European elections.

Read: Clegg insists Cable was 'not aware' of Oakeshott poll

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Clegg calls death sentence a 'breach of human rights'

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has called the sentence of a pregnant Sudanese woman to death for abandoning Islam "abhorrent", saying it was a "flagrant breach of international human rights".

"This case is a grave violation of the basic right and freedom to practice one's religion," he told The Times (£).

More: Cameron urges Sudan to lift 'barbaric' death sentence

Clegg 'knew about Lord Rennard's apology weeks ago'

Nick Clegg saw Lord Rennard's apology to four women weeks ago, but it was not released as the former Lib Dem chief executive did not want to damage the party in the run-up to last week's elections, a friend of the peer has claimed.

Lord Carlile told BBC Radio 4's The World At One: "Lord Rennard was absolutely very concerned personally not to do any possible damage to the party in the run-up to last week's local and European elections.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.
Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

"So although this apology was seen for example by the party leader [Mr Clegg] weeks ago now it was held back until the elections were over."

Asked if Mr Clegg told Lord Rennard to hold the apology back, Lord Carlile replied, "No, no, no, absolutely not. Chris Rennard went absolutely out of his way to ensure and try and make it absolutely clear that nothing further should happen in this case until after the elections."

Nick Clegg defiant as he appears on stormy front page

Nick Clegg has sent out a defiant message that he will "fight back" as he is pictured in a "political storm" on the front page of Sheffield's The Star newspaper.

The Star tweeted a preview of the dramatic front page a day before it hits the news stands:

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Read the exclusive interview with Nick Clegg on his 'tough week' and his election reaction only in tomorrow's Star http://t.co/1QbK0ZTAEz

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Mr Clegg has faced a failed attempt to oust him as Liberal Democrat leader in the aftermath of the party's dreadful showings in the recent local and European elections, amid doubts he can retain his own Sheffield Hallam seat at next year's election.

Read: Clegg is safe but the Lib Dems might not be

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Clegg is safe but the Lib Dems may not be

by - Deputy Political Editor
File photo dated 24/09/2012 of Vince Cable (left) and Nick Clegg. Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Wire

By Chris Ship, ITV News Deputy Political Editor

Within the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg personally is pretty safe. His chief potential rivals - Vince Cable, Tim Farron and perhaps Danny Alexander - have all had to row in behind Mr Clegg and say how much they support him.

Where does it leave the Liberal Democrats in the country after the terrible showing in the local and European elections last week?

I don't think they are in a very good place at all.

Nick Clegg: I won't sack Vince Cable

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has said that he will not sack his Business Secretary after insisting that he had no part in a failed plot to oust him.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the Business Secretary was fully supportive of his leadership and insisted he did not believe "for a second" the Cabinet minister had been behind the plot to force him out of the party's top job.

During his regular Call Clegg show on LBC he said: "He was absolutely not aware of polls elsewhere. He has made it very, very clear that he, for instance, didn't want any questions about leadership in the poll which he did have some control over in his own constituency.

More: Clegg: Ukip is 'ploughing on with politics of blame'

Nick Clegg: Cable knew nothing about Oakeshott poll

Nick Clegg has played down suggestions that Vince Cable knew about a controversial poll commissioned by Lord Oakeshott in the Deputy Prime Minister's constituency.

The peer, who has now resigned from the Liberal Democrats, privately commissioned surveys in several constituencies that showed a collapse in support for the party since 2010.

But Mr Clegg insisted the Business Secretary, once seen as an ally of Lord Oakeshott, was unaware of a survey in the Lib Dem leader's Sheffield Hallam seat.

"Vince Cable clearly didn't know a thing about a poll being conducted in Sheffield," the Deputy Prime Minister told BBC Radio Sheffield.

Read: Nick Clegg to face further questions on Lib Dem leadership

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